It's debate time again, everyone! After a whole month of no debating, the highest polling Republican presidential candidates have descended on Simi Valley, Ca., to slug it out, live on CNN.

This time around, 11 candidates made the final cut: Carly Fiorina, whose debate performance last month boosted her in the polls, will be on stage with Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and John Kasich.

Once again, as a matter of great political importance, I reached out to my friend Emily Hexe, an intuitive tarot reader currently living in Vermont, to see what the fates have in store for the candidates tonight.

Emily used a Rider-Waite deck and pulled a single card for each candidate to represent their frame of mind going into the debate and what we might expect from their performance. Like in the last reading, she often used “this person” to describe the candidate being read.

The cards show Trump maintaining his position of strength, Bush on the verge of an existential campaign crisis, Carson getting one over on his opponents, and Chris Christ–well, his campaign might end the night feeling a little like this:


Here we go!

🔮 🔮 🔮

Donald Trump: Six of Pentacles

The Six of Pentacles—an image of a wealthy man feeding the poor. But here I just have this visual of all of these people who need their fears and angers to be fed, who need someone on the top who has the capability to say what they want to hear, to feed what's inside of them.


In terms of the debate, this card speaks to a position of power—power and wealth. Pentacles represents wealth in more than just the financial sense, it's also about abundance of the things that fill you up in life.

But this is also a very hierarchical card. The people are on their knees. In some readings it can be philanthropic, but I'm not seeing equality in this card. I mean, it's hard not for me to read deeply into this card with what I know about Trump.


The Trump card

Jeb Bush: Two of Pentacles

I would say there's a question of values. I'm not sure if that will be externalized or internalized, but he is weighing his values and what is and is not important to him.


The visual of the pentacles within this person's hands, as if it were a scale, there's a weighing of each thing. His head is looking down at this one pentacle. His feet are off balance and the water is tumultuous behind him. There is a lack of certainty, of groundedness, that could affect him during the debates.

Ben Carson: Five of Swords

So there's going to be some sparring tomorrow involving Ben Carson. The image depicts the aftermath of a fight, these people are walking away in disgust, but this person has gained their swords and looking smugly back and then because he believes he's won, even though what is objectively seen in this card is that this person has cheated or acted unfairly to gain power over the people in the card.


In terms of the debates, he could be a little sneaky. People may think that's a good thing because he's gaining swords, or they may be turned off by it.

Ted Cruz: Knight of Pentacles

Why are they all pentacles! The Knight of Pentacles depicts a person who is giving a gift. This person is really grounded and has a strong relationship to his values. He's basically holding this pentacle out in front of him—on this still, dark horse—as an offering.


Like I said last time, among the knights, all the riders have different relationships to their horses. The Knight of Pentacles has a very grounded horse, and there is a very golden light around them. The rider has perfect posture. He knows what is important to him and valuable to him, and he's ready to share that.

Applied to the debates, I'd say Cruz is going to be calm and grounded, unwavering in his positions.


Emily contemplates Cruz while I contemplate wine

Scott Walker: Four of Swords

This person is taking a period of rest after being wounded or disempowered or hurt somehow by the truth or some sort of knowledge. It depicts someone in a church lying down, having this golden slumber in the safety of a church. It's a period of rejuvenation and rest after being overwhelmed or wounded, either by truth or power.


In the minor arcana, swords represent a cutting knowledge—a painful facing of facts or not hiding from your demons or the things that are difficult to swallow. The person in this card is taking a step back, retreating or cocooning.

I think that, either during or after the debates, there will be some hard truths. Something that, even if privately, makes him want to retreat.


Marco Rubio: The Emperor

This is a very masculine card. This is not a person you would want to negotiate with. Obviously there are very hierarchical implications here. This person's body language is very stern and stiff. His face is almost asking: Do you want to try me?


Comparing this to the Hierophant card, another of the masculine tropes within the major arcana, the Hierophant is way more open and there is way more possibility for him to have a relationship with others. It's a much more approachable card than this, for example.

Mike Huckabee: The Hanged Man

I pulled this card at a moment when I felt that maybe I wasn't finished with my shuffling, so I returned it to the deck. But I just shuffled 10 more times and pulled it again, so this is the card.


When this card comes up for people, it often has to do with a shift in perspective in their lives. And within that change, that shift, there comes a whole new set of ideals about the world. You see things differently.

The Hanged Man is upside down, his hands are behind his back, and there is a golden halo of light around his head. It sort of hints that he's illuminated, but within this upside-downness. Within a different way of perceiving the world. There is something lonely about this card. He may be out on his own at the debate; he may be ostracized.


Chris Christie: Ten of Swords

They killed him dead. The person who pulls this card is deeply wounded and is maybe wallowing in their loss or in their grief, whatever has brought them to the ground. It only takes one sword to kill a person, but this person has 10 swords stuck right in there. People who are going through breakups or who are just so sad often pull this card.


If we're thinking about the debate, this person has been brought under the wrath of the truth that the swords represent. He's been brought to the ground by that truth or some kind of knowledge—whether it's about themselves or the people around them. The swords are about knowledge and truth and the sharpness I've referred to, but, to me, because they're similar to the wands, they're inherently relational to other people. So he might just get slaughtered. That might be what this card means.



Rand Paul: Ace of Swords

He's cloudy to me. I don't feel confident in any of these cards, like it's not coming through for me. But I just got a little tip for myself: The Ace of Wands fell out, which is about being very grounded within yourself!


OK, it's the Ace of Swords. The swords, as I mentioned before, represent truth and knowledge—a cutting, sharp, sometimes abrasive truth. It can be sharp or painful, it can inflict emotional wounds. The Ace of Swords is the embodiment of the spirit of the sword.

He is wielding his truth, how he is empowered by his truth. There is a crown on top of his sword. This person has been blessed by their little truth gods, and he's going to be very on-point with however he plans to empower himself or disempower others. He's prepared to cut, to go into battle. He's going to try to slice 'em.


John Kasich: Three of Pentacles

What's happening here is you have three men who are essentially debating over the plans for this structure that they're going to build. One man is standing on a bench—hierarchically speaking, he is looking down on them. The other two people are holding the plans for the structure and looking up at him skeptically.


Out of the context of the debates what this card represents to me is three people working toward a common goal but are having a disagreement. I don't know who John Kasich is working with or if he has allies, but there is a note of skepticism in this card. There is skepticism around whatever he is going to try to bring to light, and I think you'll see that at the debate as well.

Carly Fiorina: The High Priestess

Whoa. The High Priestess is one of the cards that is very connected to the divine feminine. The High Priestess is the smart one, she's the cunning one, she's the one who lives on the dark side of the moon. She has an essence that is less about nurturing and sensuality and more about the cold mystery that women are.


To bring this into a read on the debate, I think this person will come off as calm and within the lines of rationality. She will be collected. I say that because there are these two pillars on the card, the card is very structured. She lives within this little boxes and projects out, she is very controlled.

Carly on high